Labeling photos on a Mac?
March 24, 2007 3:31 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way of tagging/labeling pictures on a Mac?

I have 2000+ photos I'd like to tag and label before I forget where I was when I took each of them. I've been adding descriptions into the "spotlight comments" space (under "get info"), but I'm wondering whether this is the most correct place to put such descriptions. I think it's convenient since I can now create smart folders based on keywords, but I have this uneasy feeling it's Not The Right Way To Do It.

Is there a way to add metadata to pictures so that that data can be retrieved easily? I despise iPhoto (mainly because I can't understand it, and because it doesn't let me preview the pictures on my camera before I import them. WTF?)

Alternately, how do I go about extracting the spotlight comments for a given file?
posted by aberrant to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think you may want to look into an application more suited to what you're doing, like iview media pro or some such. It's basically a database for your photos, and something that photo agencies use to keep track of their stuff. It's much more efficient than Spotlight.

I find iPhoto a bit strange and ungainly myself.
posted by nevercalm at 11:55 PM on March 24, 2007

I've been researching software like this, with the added caveat that I want support for storing files on removable media, and keeping an index on the main hdd. Shoebox seems like it may be the thing for me, although I don't see much in the way of "tagging" support, which bothers me. What I -really- want is Lightroom with external archive support, but who knows if that'll happen...
posted by Alterscape at 3:52 AM on March 26, 2007

I'd suggest Keyword Assistant for tagging, I've started doing it on my 3700+ photos, and it is really nice. This plugin depends on iPhoto. I think getting to grips with iPhoto will really help through it's integration with the other iLife programs.

If you don't like iPhoto's habit of importing all the pictures, with no preview, (like me) then take a look at OS X's other program Image Capture, which shows thumbnails of the pictures and allows you to check which images you do want to import. You can trigger Image Capture instead of iPhoto when you plug in a camera aswell.

Still learning my way round iPhoto at the moment, but I think it'll be worth it.

Hope that helps.
posted by sdevans at 4:51 AM on March 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is there a way to add metadata to pictures so that that data can be retrieved easily?

It's likely your camera is already storing data in an .exif file inside the jpeg. To get to that data, I'd recommend ExifTool and checking out the tagging protocols at
posted by mattbucher at 9:48 AM on March 26, 2007

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